We've all been told that we should get 8 hours of sleep a night, but this information is average and may not be suitable for everyone. Some people may need more sleep and others less, and our needs may change over the years. Therefore, the often repeated advice that everyone needs exactly 8 hours of sleep per night is a myth.
Short sleepers versus long sleepers
Everyone has a need for sleep, which is probably determined by genes or genetic information. This is the amount of sleep our body needs to wake up refreshed. This differs from person to person. This difference is likely to be seen across the spectrum, as short sleepers take less time than average (<7 hours) and long sleepers take longer (> 9 hours).
Changing needs throughout life
The average amount of sleep we need varies throughout our lives, especially during childhood and adolescence. While there are averages, there will be people who do not meet these needs, including the following groups of people:
- Babies (3-11 months) need 12-16 hours
- Babies (12 to 35 months) need 11 to 14 hours
- Preschoolers (3 to 6 years old) need 10 to 13 hours
- School age (6-10 years old) needs 9 to 12 hours
- Teens (ages 11-18) need 8-10 hours
- Adults take 8 hours on average, but the normal range is 7-9 hours.
- Older adults may need fewer hours of sleep, averaging 7-8 hours.
What if we don't sleep well? Lack of sleep , we accumulate lack of sleep , which we usually have to " write off ". This recovery can include extra sleep if you take a nap , go to bed early, or get enough sleep to catch up. If we sleep less than our body needs to feel rested and unable to recover, we can experience:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Difficult to focus
- Bad thoughts
- Increased risk of accidents.
- Other health complications (such as weight gain )
These symptoms can jeopardize our health and well-being.
How can I determine my sleep needs?
There is an easy way to determine how much sleep you need. Follow these steps:
- Set aside a week or two so that you can focus on your sleep and avoid interruptions or changes in your sleep schedule.
- Pick a typical bedtime and stick to it night after night.
- Allow yourself to sleep as long as you want by getting up in the morning without an alarm .
- After a few days, you will make up for your lack of sleep and begin to approach the average amount of sleep you need.
- Once you've identified your need, try setting your bedtime to a time that will allow you to get enough sleep as you wake up in time to start the day.
Effects of sleep deprivation
It is extremely important that your body gets enough sleep. Chronic or prolonged sleep deprivation is linked to a host of problems that affect your health, safety, productivity, mood, and more. Here are some of the possible consequences of not getting enough sleep:
- Reduced alertness
- Decreased productivity
- Memory impairment
- Cognitive impairment
- Injury at work
- Injuries from a car accident or other heavy equipment
People with chronic sleep deprivation often attribute their condition to "normal" experiences and attribute their fatigue to the stresses of life, work, and children. These people do not realize that lack of sleep is very unhealthy and can last for years without solving the problem or without seeking help.
Get the word of drug information
If you're having trouble meeting your sleep needs, make a conscious effort to prioritize sleep and protect bedtime. Make sure you have enough time in bed to get through the night. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule even on the weekends. Get the support of your friends and family. For those looking for additional advice, consider enrolling in a cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTI) program or seeing a board-certified sleep physician.